Rick Renteria managed the Cubs for one season, 2014. It’s been generally acknowledged by all that he did a pretty good job with the players he had; he was well-respected and especially worked well with some of the younger players who came up from the minor leagues for the first time: Kyle Hendricks, Javier Baez and Jorge Soler.
We all know the circumstances under which Renteria was replaced by Joe Maddon and it’s not my intention to belabor that here. It was obviously the right move for the team and they got the result they wanted, a World Series championship. Renteria handled it all with class and dignity, and landed on his feet professionally when he was hired by the White Sox, first as bench coach, this year as manager.
In a wide-ranging interview with USA Today’s Bob Nightengale regarding the future of the White Sox, Jerry Reinsdorf revealed this tidbit of info about the Cubs and Renteria:
“This guy is such a gentleman, even after he was fired, he never said anything about the Cubs. Not one time. He just won’t do it.’’
The Cubs showed their respect to Renteria by quietly giving him a World Series ring, Reinsdorf revealed. They also gave one to former GM Jim Hendry and former manager Dale Sveum.
Kudos to Tom Ricketts and the Cubs organization for doing this. In so doing they recognized the contributions of Renteria, Hendry and Sveum as the Cubs traveled on the road that led to last year’s World Series title. The Cubs are still benefiting on the field from Javier Baez and Willson Contreras, players signed by Hendry, and Sveum and Renteria led the club on the field through some difficult seasons.